spirit

As a kid, I was freaked out by this game which existed long before Ouija boards were known in my part of the world. At least in my hometown. We used to summon the spirits with coins and homemade boards. But we didn’t get very far since no one was ever serious enough to carry it through before someone started laughing and ruined the atmosphere. There was always the accusation of someone pushing the coin or did we actually make contact?

This is my take on the game as I reimagine it from a different perspective, making it spiral deeper into the dark side of the human psyche. Some of the nightmares described here are real. The strange fish in the pool, the intestinal door, and the house of many secret rooms. The museum of bad taxidermy is what you can see in the Taiping museum. Most of the taxidermied animals have been around since I was a kid and most of them have already cracked and are coming apart at the seams, literally. And they are held together by the kind of restoration which will give you nightmares or inspire you to write horror stories.

One of my all time favorite psychological thriller mysteries is a 2003 movie which partly inspired this psychological horror story. If you are a movie buff you will know which movie I am talking about after reading this twisted tale. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it.

beauty

I’ve never liked reality TV shows. I always had low regard for them for the drama and unnecessary sensationalism created to draw in viewers. But two paved the way to help me understand the human psyche better than I thought I ever would. The first time I saw Extreme Makeover I was moved to tears when I got to know how beauty to some meant more than just skin-deep vanity.

I wrote this story with that thought in mind but I couldn’t get the voice right. It was written and rewritten several times but it felt empty. Something was missing. A piece of the jigsaw puzzle. An element to carry it through the threshold. I was watching Rupaul’s drag race at that time and listening to her fabulous songs. Only after incorporating the songs into the story it made sense why I called it Always the beauty queen in the first place.

This story is also about paying the price for being beautiful. Not from the surgery and cosmetic enhancements but from the hands of a man who measures women’s morality by their beauty. For the women who have to find a way to defend themselves and learn how to survive the world where their looks are judged with impossibilities, this story is for them. Those who know their truth despite what other people say, and those who fight the fight because they can.

anjali

This tale is inspired by the 1999 film: Dreaming of Joseph Lees, and the singer-songwriter-model: Veronika Modesta. Both of them kept me in awe for days and weeks and years after I’ve chanced upon them. This is my strange homage to the beautiful inspiration they bestowed upon me that sparked my imagination.

It’s about asking the ultimate question of what we would do for love and how far we would go to prove it to the one we desire. One of the best TV series that presents this well is Star Trek Voyager S05E17: The Disease. As Seven of Nine says: Physiologically, it bears a striking similarity to disease. A series of biochemical responses that trigger an emotional cascade, impairing normal functioning.

Two things I learned from writing this story, which I never knew had names for them, were Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) and acrotomophilia. And they are far from being fictitious.

them

Them Horrors be Everywhere concludes the triptych titles of my short horror stories collection. But this is not the end of my horror stories since there are still tons of ideas, half written works in progress, and first drafts that I’ve yet to nurture and resurrect.

This is my 3rd book with Fixi and it is the most localized of the three. The characters, settings, and colloquialism are written with locals in mind. The first two books had stories or ideas I had written a long time ago and were targeted for markets other than Malaysia. Back then, it was difficult to get anything published here but this is not the case anymore.

With another 13 stories to gauge your level of sanity and upset your quietude, you can be rest assured they are only tales derived from the mind of a slightly unstable writer. I truly hope the horrors may find you and comfort you in the most delightful way.

An Uninvited Twilight
Twilight is the strangest time of day to me. It can either bring hope or it can usher in despair. From the dark and desperate desolation, the next moment could reveal to us the light at the end of the tunnel. On the flip-side, from a magnificent view of the colors of the sun, a sense of doom and terror could creep in and engulf our entire being in a second.

An Uninvited Twilight is about being caught between two worlds. A young boy, Keon, discovers the Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies and something is unleashed within him, giving him the power to see beyond our falsified reality. A priest who had to juggle with his faith, sexuality, and contradicting traditions, tries to find the bridge that divides what is right from wrong, real from the perceived, god and the devil. But to understand this he had to step into the boy’s shoes and see what real fear is like from the eyes of an innocent child.

Julya's collection

All four of my short horror stories collection throughout the years.
I still have a lot of short stories waiting to get out of my system but
I’m hoping to complete at least one novel by next year.

Them Horrors be Everywhere

Read the writeup about the launch by Daily Seni.

#GTLF2016: FIXI serves up bestselling transgendered Malaysian authors at double launch

Book Launch at GTLF 27th Nov 2016

Posted: November 28, 2016 in Scribble

Regina and I doing it for the third time for the third consecutive year.
She launched Delima and I launched Them Horrors be Everywhere.
It ended with a wonderful performance by Joe & Tina for one of my stories:
The Amulet around the neck of a headless victim.